Tai Chi Chuan is translated as “Grand Ultimate Boxing”. This style originated about 300 years ago by the Chen Family. Yang Lu-Chan, who learned from the Chens, founded the Yang style. The movements of Tai Chi, particularly the Yang Style, are characterized by flowing and relaxed movements. The central goal of Tai Chi is to master the art of not letting the opponent put more than four ounces of strength on your body and for the practitioner to not use more than four ounces of strength to defeat the opponent.
The sensitivity needed to capture the centre is acquired over thousands of hours of first yin (slow, repetitive, meditative, low-impact) and then later adding yang (“realistic,” active, fast, high-impact) martial training through taolu (“forms”), tuishou (“pushing hands”), and sanshou (“sparring”). T’ai chi ch’uan trains in three basic ranges: close, medium and long, and then everything in between.
Pushes and open-hand strikes are more common than punches, and kicks are usually to the legs and lower torso, never higher than the hip, depending on style. The fingers, fists, palms, sides of the hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and feet are commonly used to strike, with strikes to the eyes, throat, heart, groin, and other acupressure points trained by advanced students. Chin na, which are joint traps, locks, and breaks are also used. Most t’ai chi ch’uan teachers expect their students to thoroughly learn defensive or neutralizing skills first, and a student will have to demonstrate proficiency with them before offensive skills will be extensively trained.